Man with face transplant models for GQ

Richard Lee Norris seven months after surgeons performed the most extreme face transplant ever.

GQ profiles Richard Norris, who underwent a facial transplant in 2012.

When Richard Norris was 22-years-old, in 1997, he accidentally shot himself in the face.

Norris survived the incident, but his face was destroyed, along with his willingness to venture outdoors and engage with the world. One day, that all changed.

Norris's story was recently profiled in GQ magazine, which included remarkable photos of Norris before and after the accident, and once again after a surgeon named Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez performed a full facial transplant in 2012 that was deemed an undeniable success.

Still, as the GQ article explains, the journey to Norris's new face hasn't always been an easy road. Because Norris isn't allowed to drive due to a risk of seizures, he remains isolated in a home he shares with his parents. He says he sees himself as a kind of lab rat.

The article paints a complicated picture of a complicated man. Norris is more than just a miracle, more than a famous surgical patient who signs autographs, the profile explains. He still fights demons. He's famous and alone. Like most people, he longs for connections and adventure, to be both special and a face in the crowd.